M&M’S Debuts Its New Caramel Chocolate Flavor At The All-Star Race

Kyle Busch

M&M’S® is unsquaring caramel with its new M&M’S® Caramel Chocolate candies now available at retailer nationwide. So it only seems appropriate that M&M’S Caramel will make its debut on Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) on the 1.5-mile oval at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race.

 

In what could arguably be the biggest innovation in M&M’S history, it took years to develop the technology and machines required to get the soft caramel ingredient into the signature hard candy shell. Gone are the days of the square-shaped, square-wrapped caramel candies – M&M’S® has updated one of the most popular flavors by covering soft caramel in a delicious, candy-coated shell. Starting with Saturday’s All-Star Race, Busch is scheduled to sport the new M&M’S Caramel colors at 13 Cup Series races during through the summer and fall.

 

The debut for the M&M’S Caramel scheme Saturday night will come in a race that always seems to be tailor-made for the aggressive driving style of the 2015 Cup Series champion.  Busch first left his non-points-race mark on the 2009 edition of the All-Star Race. NASCAR introduced short-track-style, double-file restarts for just the All-Star Race that year. After Busch pulled off several bold moves that helped inject plenty of excitement into the race, it prompted NASCAR to go ahead and institute the double-file restart rule permanently for its top three series shortly after the 2009 All-Star race.

 

Busch locked in his spot for this year’s All-Star event – comprised primarily of 2016 and 2017 Cup Series race winners, plus past All-Star Race winners and past series champions – via his four series wins in 2016. The Las Vegas native not only has earned the title of All-Star, he’s one of the dominant forces in NASCAR’s top series, totaling 171 career wins in NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup, Xfinity, and Camping World Truck – and is tied for 19th on the all-time Cup Series win list with JGR teammate .

 

While Busch has accomplished plenty in his 13-plus Cup Series seasons, one thing that still eludes him is not only a win in the All-Star Race, but a Cup Series win of any kind at the 1.5-mile oval in the backyard of the home for a majority of the race teams. Charlotte is one of only two tracks on the current schedule where Busch hasn’t won, the other being Pocono (Pa.) Raceway.

 

So, as Busch views Saturday’s non-points-paying All-Star Race as his annual opportunity to throw patience out the window at his own discretion as he shoots for his first All-Star win, he’ll hope that unsquaring caramel in his debut in the M&M’S Caramel colors will be just what he needs to check off another accomplishment during his impressive career.

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 
Are you excited to get the next opportunity to win an All-Star Race this weekend? And, where is the All-Star Race on your list of things you want to accomplish?

 

“Winning in the Cup Series at Charlotte in general is higher up on the list right now, for sure. But certainly winning the All-Star Race would be very special, too. We’ve been very lucky to check off a lot of things on my list over the last couple of years with the championship in 2015 and wins at the Brickyard 400, Martinsville, Kansas. It’s been quite a ride. I’m looking forward to this weekend, for sure, in our debut with our M&M’S Caramel car. M&M’s worked for several years to develop Caramel, so we’re really excited to help them launch the product this weekend on the racetrack and get fans out to the stores to try them out.”

 

What are your expectations for the All-Star Race?

“I’m looking forward to it. This is always a pretty cool race and it has good atmosphere around it. The crowd gets jacked up and, of course, there is nothing important on the line besides a million bucks. You just go out there and race as hard as you can. You get some practice runs in, get some good practice in and make sure your car feels good to you. And you try to work on your speed, of course, as best you can. Qualifying – that’s certainly going to be interesting again this year. I think, all in all, it’s a fun event. We always enjoy coming to Charlotte and getting these two weeks – with the All-Star Race one of the shortest and most fun events, and then the Coca-Cola 600 with the longest event. It’s kind of two different ends of the spectrum at Charlotte and we’re hoping to finally get a win in the Cup car with our M&M’S Caramel Camry at least once over the next two weekends there.”

 

What driving style does it take to succeed in the All-Star Race?

 

“I think just being aggressive and knowing when to be aggressive and how to be aggressive is the biggest thing. It’s a race where you have to get to the front and you have to get out there and get yourself, more importantly, in clean air in order to keep yourself out front and on your own. I know they are making some tweaks to the package and the racing has certainly been good so far this year.”

 

What does it mean to be a part of the All-Star Race in this sport?

 

“It matters, especially with who your fellow competitors are. For us, being an all-star and being in the All-Star Race is one of the most fun things we get to do each year. I’d say the Clash is another one of those and, with the All-Star Race, they are certainly two fun races where we get a chance to go after just a win and bring home the checkers or the wrecker. It’s an exciting night and there’s a lot of energy there. Charlotte does a great job. I think it’s an awesome venue for that race. It gives you the opportunity to run that many qualifying laps in a row. That’s all you’re doing – you’re giving it all you’ve got every single lap. You’re definitely up on top of the wheel and your guys do the best they can to give you a good car and to make it as lightweight as possible and throw away the air conditioning unit and keep all the front fans away from you – no radiator fan. All that stuff, just try to lighten that baby up and make it fast.”

 

What drivers do you think are best suited for the All-Star Race?

 

“You look at the guys who are really good, who qualify well. I think qualifying well can always lend itself to racing the All-Star Race well because you’re running however many laps that segment is, you’re running that many qualifying laps in a row. You’re just trying to get the most you can out of your car there. It’s sometimes hard to pass because the guy in front of you is trying to get the most out of his car and so are you, so you just can’t get there.”

M&M’S Caramel Racing

Non-Points Race – Monster Energy All-Star Race – Charlotte

Car No.: 18 – M&M’S Caramel Toyota Camry

 

Teammates:  Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Toyota Camry; Daniel Suarez – No. 19 Toyota Camry; Matt Kenseth – No. 20 Toyota Camry.

 

At-Track PR Contact: Bill Janitz, True Speed Communication (704-875-3388 ext. 803 or Bill.Janitz@TrueSpeedCommunication.com).

Primary Team Members:

Driver: Kyle Busch

Hometown: Las Vegas

 

Crew Chief: Adam Stevens

Hometown: Portsmouth, Ohio

 

Car Chief: Nate Bellows

Hometown: Fairfax, Vermont

 

Race Engineer: Ben Beshore

Hometown: Hometown York, Pennsylvania

 

Engine Specialist: Mike Johnson

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

 

Spotter: Tony Hirschman

Hometown: Northampton, Pennsylvania

Over-The-Wall Crew Members:

Gas Man: Tom Lampe

Hometown: Beatrice, Nebraska

 

Front Tire Changer: Josh Leslie

Hometown: Mount Clemens, Michigan

 

Jackman: TJ Ford

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

 

Front Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

Hometown: Orange County, Virginia

 

Rear Tire Carrier: Kenny Barber

Hometown: Hoosick Falls, New York

 

Rear Tire Changer: Jake Seminara

Hometown: Steubenville, Ohio

 

Pit Support: Marcus Bonicelli

Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado

 

Pit Support: Jeff Koons

Hometown: Greenfield, Indiana

Road Crew Members:

Truck Drivers: Brendan Greene and Jamie Price

Hometowns: Midland, North Carolina, and Choteau, Montana, respectively

 

Tire Specialist: Jon Desrocher

Hometown: Plattsburgh, New York

 

Interior Mechanic: Wesley Lape

Hometown: Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania

 

Race Engineer: Tyler Allen

Hometown: Seattle, Washington

 

Ride and Handling Engineer: Chris Chase

Hometown: Nichols, New York

 

Rear End Mechanic: Chris Jones

Hometown: Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia

 

Mechanic: Todd Foster

Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama

 

Front End Mechanic: Brandon Griffeth

Hometown: Pittsfield, Illinois

Notes of Interest:
  • The Monster Energy All-Star Race will mark Kyle Busch’s 11th appearance in the non-points race.
  • Busch has career totals of 38 wins, 19 poles, 151 top-five finishes, 224 top-10s and 12,877 laps led in 437 career Cup Series races. His most recent Cup Series win came in July 2016 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when he brought home his second consecutive win at the historic 2.5-mile oval. Busch’s win came from the pole position, his most recent pole and the 19th of his career.
  • ‘Bring Home the Steering Wheel or the Trophy:’ Busch has led 207 laps in his 11 previous All-Star Race starts at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, with 2011 featuring his best career finish of second in the non-points event.
  • Busch has 10 top-five finishes and 15 top-10s and has led a total of 908 laps in 26 points-paying Cup Series starts at Charlotte. Busch’s average Charlotte finish is15.5.
  • Looking for first All-Star Win: In the last couple of seasons, Busch has crossed a few milestone accomplishments off his to-do list. In 2015 and 2016, he won his first Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and, of course, his first Cup Series title. Along with looking to win his first race at Charlotte, Busch also would like to bring home his first victory in the Monster Energy All-Star Race.
  • 38 Career Cup Series Wins: With his Cup Series win at Indianapolis last July, the 38th of his career, Busch is tied for 19th on the all-time Cup Series win list with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Matt Kenseth.
  • Trimming the List: With wins at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Kansas Speedway in Kansas City added to the list last season, Busch has won Cup Series races at 21 of the 23 tracks at which the series competes. The only two tracks he has yet to conquer in the Cup Series are Pocono (Pa) Raceway and Charlotte. During his 2015 Cup Series championship season, Busch checked off Indianapolis and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Four of Busch’s last six Cup Series wins have been his first at each track in NASCAR’s top series (Indianapolis, Homestead, Martinsville and Kansas). Of the 21 different tracks where Busch has won, he has multiple wins at 11 of them.
  • All-Time JGR Wins Leader: With his Brickyard 400 win last July, Busch passed three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart for most all-time Cup Series wins for JGR. Busch now has 34 wins for JGR to Stewart’s 33.
  • 171 and Counting: Busch enters Charlotte with 171 career wins among NASCAR’s top three divisions – Cup (38), Xfinity (87) and Truck (47) following his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory last weekend at Kansas.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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